Navigating business in a high-growth emerging market

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  • Author Dr. Matthew Ogunbukola
  • Published May 12, 2023
  • Word count 779


Emerging markets are increasingly becoming a key driver of global economic growth. In 2022, emerging markets account for over half of global GDP growth. This growth is being driven by several factors, including rapid urbanization, rising incomes, and increasing consumer spending.

Navigating the complexities of high-growth emerging markets can be a daunting task for businesses. However, for those that are willing to take the risk, the rewards can be significant. Emerging markets offer tremendous opportunities for growth, but also present unique challenges that require a deep understanding of the local context, culture, and business practices.


• Emerging markets

• Global Business

• International Business

• Market research

• Business strategy

• Competitive analysis

• Risk management

• Cultural intelligence

• Sustainability


For businesses, emerging markets offer several opportunities. These markets are home to large and growing populations with rising incomes. This means that there is a large potential market for goods and services. Additionally, emerging markets are often characterized by lower labor costs than developed markets. This can give businesses a competitive advantage in terms of cost.

However, there are also several challenges associated with doing business in emerging markets. These challenges include:

• Political and economic instability

• Corruption

• Weak infrastructure

• Lack of transparency

• Cultural differences

Despite these challenges, there are a few things that businesses can do to navigate the complexities of doing business in emerging markets. These include:

• Conducting thorough research on the market

• Building relationships with local partners

• Adapting products and services to local needs

• Investing in training and development for local employees

• Being patient and persistent

By taking these steps, businesses can successfully navigate the challenges of doing business in emerging markets and reap the rewards of these growing markets. In addition to the above, here are some other tips for businesses looking to succeed in emerging markets:

• Be flexible and adaptable. Emerging markets are constantly changing, so businesses need to be able to adapt quickly to new trends and developments.

• Be patient. It takes time to build a successful business in an emerging market. Don't expect overnight success.

• Be culturally sensitive. Emerging markets have their own unique cultures and customs. Businesses need to be respectful of these cultures and customs to be successful.

• Be committed to the market. Emerging markets can be challenging, but they can also be very rewarding. Businesses that are committed to the market will be more likely to succeed.

One of the most important factors for success in an emerging market is having a solid understanding of the local regulatory environment. The rules and regulations that govern business practices can be vastly different from those in developed markets, and failure to comply with them can result in significant legal and financial consequences. Therefore, businesses need to work closely with local experts, lawyers, and advisors who can guide compliance, risk management, and other issues.

Another critical element is building strong relationships with local partners, customers, and suppliers. Developing a deep understanding of the local culture and business practices is essential for building trust and credibility. Business practices in emerging markets may differ significantly from those in developed countries, and taking the time to understand and respect these differences can be key to success.

In addition to building relationships, it is also important for businesses to invest in talent development and training. Emerging markets often have different skill sets and levels of education than developed countries, and investing in local talent can be a critical factor in building a sustainable business in the region. Companies that provide opportunities for training, development, and career advancement can attract and retain top talent, which can help them to compete effectively in the market.

Finally, businesses must be willing to adapt and innovate in response to local market conditions. Emerging markets are dynamic and rapidly evolving, and companies that are not willing to be flexible and agile may find themselves at a significant disadvantage. This requires a willingness to experiment with new products, services, and business models, as well as an ability to respond quickly to changing customer needs and market trends.

In conclusion, navigating business in a high-growth emerging market requires a deep understanding of the local regulatory environment, culture, and business practices, as well as a willingness to invest in talent development, build strong relationships, and adapt to changing market conditions. Companies that can successfully navigate these challenges can reap significant rewards in terms of growth, profitability, and long-term sustainability.


Sharma, R. (2017). Emerging markets: navigating the risks and rewards. Harvard Business Review.

McFarlan, F. W., & Khanna, T. (2014). Navigating the evolving business landscape in emerging economies. Harvard Business Review.

World Economic Forum. (2018). Accelerating digital transformation in emerging markets.

I am a results-driven professional with 20+ years of experience in business strategy and technology management. I have a proven track record of delivering operational excellence and building lasting relationships with stakeholders.

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